You go out to bring your horse in from the pasture only to discover that he’s a muddy mess from head to toe. Some horses absolutely love mud, much to the chagrin of their owners. If you’re faced with a muddy horse, these five tips can help you in your grooming process.
Let the Mud Dry
One of the best ways to groom a muddy horse is to let the mud completely dry before even beginning the process. Dried mud flakes off of the horse’s coat, whereas wet mud tends to smear around and make more of a mess. While allowing your horse to dry likely isn’t an option if you’re trying to get ready for a ride, let your horse dry off if you have the time to do so.
Focus on the Vital Areas
If you’re getting ready for a ride, then focus your grooming efforts on the areas that absolutely have to be clean – such as the areas under your horse’s saddle, breastplate, and bridle. You can ride your horse with some mud on his neck and flanks, but make sure that there’s no mud left beneath his tack, or it could rub and create sores.
If you’re dealing with mud that has dried on your horse’s coat, then vigorous currying can help to remove the mud quickly. Go gently around sensitive areas, and break large clumps of mud up between your fingers to avoid pulling on your horse’s hair. You can also use a shedding blade to clear the mud off of the surface of your horse’s hair. Be sure to follow up with a good brushing to remove all of the dirt.
Hose Off Your Horse
In some cases, your horse may be so mud-covered that it’s best to hose him off. This isn’t an option if you have to ride your horse shortly after, but may be an ideal solution on days when you’re not planning on riding. If you’re lucky enough to have a wash stall in your barn, then hose off your horse’s muddiest areas and use a bath scrubber or other grooming tool to gently massage the mud out of your horse’s coat.
Use a Horse Vacuum
If you’re lucky enough to have access to a horse vacuum, then you have a great way to remove dried mud from your horse’s coat. Curry your horse first to break up the mud, then go over his coat with the horse vacuum to lift the dirt right off of the coat.
Grooming a muddy horse requires some effort and time. Toss on a grooming smock or sweatshirt before you start to keep most of the mud off of yourself.